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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 8, 2013 2:30pm-4:31pm EST

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>> senator, you'll find i think a ready audience up here for benefits. it's more than just the try care. it's everything. it all fits underneath the personnel. i pay 62 cents on the dollar right now for manpower. that's not because marines are more expensive. it's just my portion of the budget is smaller. that's going to go well over 70% by the end of the fid dip if something is not done. you'll see the joint chiefs come to congress through the president talking about a package of cuts and reductions, how we can cut that down. so that's en route. as you're aware, the folks are looking at the retirement. we're open to just about anything. it's in our best interest and our nation's best interest. we're reducing the marine corps if we stay on the sequestered budget by 28,000 marines. inside that, well over 20% of headquarter reductions. i'm eliminating entire marine
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expeditionary force. it goes away. reducing infantry battalions, regiments, air groups pretty significantly. we're pairing that down, senator. as it relates to somebody getting fired, i can't speak to that. i can talk pretty intimately about the maneuvering around among the f-35 program, both with the management at lockheed martin and my service. there have been cost overruns, but our vector is actually heading in the right direction on the program. >> senator, the short answer is yes, absolutely need to get entitlements and benefit reform. there's no question about that. i hope we would roll the savings we could make from that back into the tools and training our people need to be fully ready. if we did that, they would understand the reason and they would see the result in a meaningful way. if we take the money and use it for something else, it will be a bigger problem for them.
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cost overruns and growth, i agree with everything you said. we're looking at every staff. we're in the process of internally reducing two four stars, 15 three-star positions and decreasing the number of people in headquarters. we have to take this seriously, senator. there's no other option. >> thank you, senator mccain. senator udahl? >> good morning, gentlemen. i'm frustrated this committee has asked you to come up and testify about the harm in sequestration. we in the congress have created this monster. we keep dragging you up the hill to have you tell us how much damage it's done. i met recently with my constituents in the great the great community of colorado springs. they made it clear to me they're tired of congress's unwilli unwillingness to solve the problem. that view is echoed everywhere i travel. the bottom line is we all know
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we've done serious harm to critical programs and our people. it's very clear none of this is really going to save us any money. i think you all have made that case very powerfully. in fact, it's going to cost us more in the long run than if we just buckled down and put in place strategic budget architecture based, for example, on the similar simpson-bowles plan. you have been paying for our failure to lead and to act. i apologize for that. what we've been hearing from our constituents and from you should make it clear that we need to reach a bipartisan agreement, pass a budget and get back on track. let me in that spirit, general welsh, turn to you. in your opening statement you said if you were given the flexibility to make prudent cuts over time, we could make the savings required under current law. could you be more specific about the kind of flexibility that you're asking for? i've been working with senator
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collins and others pushing for better budget flexibility when it comes to making cuts governmentwide. it's important to know how we can get this right and how it can be most helpful. >> senator, in my view and i think everyone in the room would agree, sequestration is a hornl business model. no successful business would try and down size its product line or its costs doing it this way. anybody would take a time period, determine what kind of savings you needed over the time period and what kind of reductions you needed over the time period. you'd take the beginning of that time period to actually close product lines, reinvest the capital or manpower or forestructure saved into the lines you want to continue, restructure your organization and create savings at the back end of this. if we had nothing more than a ten-year period to say whatever the number is, we understand we have to be part of the solution for the nation, the financial solution for the nation. no one is resisting that. this mechanism that makes us take big chunks of money the
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first two years is what is putting us into this readiness verses modernization dilemma. the other all cost of sequestration reduces our capability and capacity over time, but it doesn't break us. the mechanism is what breaks us. i would just say that if we had the trust available to believe that the department would return $1.3 trillion over ten years and we could show you a plan of how to do that, eliminating this abrupt nature of the mechanism at the front end would be a much, much more sensible approach. >> general, that's very helpful. i know this committee is going to listen as we move forward. let me turn to the economies of the military communities. if sequestration remains in place, i was thinking about general odierno, the situation you face, cutting down to 450,000, perhaps as low as 390,000. there could be real damage done to cities like colorado springs and many around the country.
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the same, general welsh, would apply to the air force, if you're forced to roll back more critical space in aviation missions. in colorado over the last couple years we've had some real challenges. we've had to battle floods and wildfires. without the incredible support from soldiers and airmen, i can't imagine how much worse the losses would have been if we didn't have assets like the aviation or the great airmen at peterson and sleever. could you comment on that, on whether those studies have been done and what additional information we might need to be smart about how these cuts are made. >> what a lot of people don't understand in many cases fort carson, ford hood, for brag, fort campbell, they are probably the biggest generators of revenue for the states, period. they don't realize when the installations go away, you're just not losing just the
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soldiers and what they do. all the businesses around those installations for probably a 50-mile radius are impacted by the shutdown and loss of the impact of these installations losing people. the impact to the local and state governments is substantial. we have studies -- i don't have the numbers with me for every installation. we have numbers for every installation. when i go visit, they say this is the first, the leading employer in the state, second -- it's either first, second, third, but it's very close to the top of leading employers in the state. people, many forget about this as we look at these reductions. that's in addition to what i'm concerned about of the national security impacts it has. >> general welsh, would you care to comment? >> $1.3 trillion reduction in d.o.d. in ten years will leave a bruise to a lot of places. we have to understand how much the pain is at each place before we make final decisions. it's going to affect a lot of
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people in a lot of places. i was just in colorado, by the way, visiting with a bunch of the firefighters from fort carson, from colorado springs. walking through the actions they took in battling the fires last year and this year, i was struck by the contribution they make to the community every day, not just when catastrophes occur. no one wants to reduce that contribution. we lost, in just the civilian furloughs as a corporate body 7.8 million man hours of work. double that for the government shutdown, impact on civilian workforce. that's also 7.8 million hours of pay that doesn't go into the community where those people live. so you can start to see the effects when you have these short-term losses of income. long term it would be more dramatic, obviously. >> thank you, gentlemen. my time has expired. i want to make a couple of very quick comments. i want to thank the members of the national guard units who came to colorado from kansas, montana, utah, and of course our
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colorado guard for the incredible work they've done, not only immediately after our floods, but now to rebuild our highways, we're reopening the highways months ahead of schedule. it's a testament to the work ethic and teamwork those units brought to our state. secondly i want to again thank you all for coming. i'm sorry we're here under these circumstances. but i'm pleased to see senator inhofe here. he's too tough to let a few blocked arteries keep him from doing his work. finally want to associate myself with the remarks of chairman skelton, a wonderful man, a mentor to me. he had a habit of saying i'm just an old country lawyer. but that was the moment at which i would really listen to what ike skelton had to say and i know everybody who served with him felt the say way. thank you for convening this important hearing. we've got to get this right. >> thank you, senator udall. senator chapel miss. >> thanks, mr. chairman. likewise, thanks to you for
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being here today. in my 20 years serving on the house armed services committee, we've never had in my opinion four finer leaders of our respective branches than the four of you. thanks for what you do every day. as we look at what we're going to do relative to defense spending, i'm one of those who thinks without question that we need to spend more money, that sequestration, as each of you has said, is going to become a bigger and bigger problem. i also feel very strongly about the fact that whatever we are able to add to d.o.d. spending, that we've got to offset it somehow. we've simply got to get our fiscal house in order. i think if we're going to do that, the first place we've got to look for offsets is at the department of defense itself. we asked in a hearing that senator sheheen called on tuesday of this week, we asked of general dempsey, senator
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mansion did for a list of programs or expenditures that the department does not want to spend money on that had been mandated by congress. we thought we would have that list by today. i understand now we're not going to get it until next week. but i think for certain one item that's going to be on that list, general odierno, is the purchase of abram tanks that you have been somewhat focal on, that congress keeps demanding that you buy that you don't need. my understanding is you were requesting a delay -- a halt in production until 2017, and at the cost of that, was going to be -- the savings was going to be between 436 and $3 billion over three years. i don't know what the exact number is. either one is pretty sig any kabtd. is that still the case, you'd prefer to spend that money somewhere else? >> it is. we have the most modernized tank
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fleet we've ever had right now. it's in great shape. yet we're purchasing more tanks that we don't need. so the savings would be -- could be used in many different areas of our modernization programs that we need, for example, aviation. >> as we go into the authorization the authorization bill, rest assured it's issues like that that are going to be addressed. when we talk about sequestration, a lot of these programs have taken years to develop and produce. these programs weren't necessarily created or authorized on the watch of the four of you, but they are significant. general welch, i understand there are 12 brand-new c-27j spartans rolled off the assembly line and immediately mothballed. dod spent $560 million on one of these airplanes, but only 16 have been delivered. a majority are sitting in storage somewhere.
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also, there were 20 c-27as that cost the taxpayer $596 million. they are sitting unused in afghanistan and slated to be destroyed. there may be some movement to send those to another agency or entity. the maintenance contract on those airplanes, i understand, was canceled in march of this year, and therefore, they're unuseable. the army spent $297 million for the multiuse intelligence vehicle which is a blimp-like aircraft that could hover over the battlefield and canceled after one test flight and back to the contractor for $301,000. the army and the marine corps are moving ahead, as i understand it to purchase 55,000 trucks known as the joint light
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tactical vehicle to replace your current fleet of humvees, which probably understandable, but also my understanding that the committed cost of these per vehicle was $250,000. now it's gone to something like $400,000 per vehicle, not unlike what senator mccain alluded to earlier. general welch, also a recent audit by the dod inspector general found a contractor overcharged dla for spare aircraft parts. it was one part aluminum bearing sleeve that should have cost $10 that dla paid $2,286 per item. it resulted in a $10 million overcharge. again, as i say, those are items that weren't necessarily created on your watch, but you're in the process right now of looking forward with respect to weapon
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systems. i just hope you'll keep that in mind. there is one other area i want to mention as we look for savings. that's in the area of medical research. i'm a beneficiary of the research that's been done in this country on prostate cancer and i'm very thankful for that. they do a great job at nih on prostate cancer research and every other cancer research. i don't understand why the military is spending $80 million a year on prostate cancer research. why we are spending $25 million a year on ovarian cancer research and $150 million on breast cancer research and doing lung cancer research. if there are particular needs the military has regarding military research, and there are some because of particularly the casualties we suffered recently, i can understand it, but these are types of research that simply have no place, in my
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opinion, at dod. they ought to be done at nih. i understand further that there is not real coordination between the research done, medical research done at nih and what is done at dod. mr. chairman, that's not an item these gentlemen have a lot of control over, but an item we need to look at. the money would be better spent as a replacement for sequestration. a good friend to a lot of us senator ted stevens who first asked for prostate cancer research go to dod. several years later, he announced on the floor of the senate he made a mistake. he should never have done that and that money ought to be spent on research, but it ought to be spent at nih and not the department of defense. as we go forward, gentlemen, with the defense authorization bill and the next couple of
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weeks, i look forward to seeing that list that general dempsey gets to us with respect to items that come out of each of your budgets that hopefully we can have the spine to stand up and say, irrespective of parochial interests, we've got to look after our men and women and they need this money to be spent in our areas rather than areas the military themselves say we don't need to spend it. thank you very much. >> thank you, senator chambliss. senator now senator shaheen. >> thank you, chairman for holding this hearing today. thank you gentlemen for being here. i would hope as the sentiments expressed by some of our colleagues that this congress would deal with sequestration in a way that means you don't have to be here year after year after year talking about the challenges that our military faces because we haven't done our jobs here in congress. admiral greenert, i would like
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to begin with you because we believe that the portsmouth navalship yard is the premier ship yard for modernization and maintenance of our nuclear fleet. i have a letter here from paul o'connor who talks about the impact of sequestration on the workers. i want to read two phrases from this letter because i think it epitomizes the challenges they are feeling from sequestration. he says, with 9 1/2 more years of sequestration hanging over our heads, 9 1/2 more years of furloughs and lay-offs, how will we attract the best and brightest young men and women to our most technologically sophisticated complex, precision-based industry? he goes on to say, the security, instability and volatility of sequestration on our ship yard and national work force cannot
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be understated. the personal impact, mission impact and national security impact are real and contrary to the best interests of america. mr. chairman, i would like to ask this letter be entered into the record. admiral greenert, i wonder if you could talk about what you're seeing with respect to the long-term impacts of sequestration. you mentioned some of those. if you could elaborate further? >> thank you, senator. i'm glad we get to see that letter because it very clearly states the debilitating effect of doing this year after year. it's inefficient and you lose productivity. this fine gentleman described there, you can't hire people so you can't distribute your work force. you furlough them here and there, so they are going to go elsewhere. somebody has to write the contract, somebody has to get the logistics done. those are the people who
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regrettably we furloughed. you can stand here with a wrench in your hand and welding rod, but you need to pay for work. it's all a team and a long chain. we think we are saving costs. we are avoiding costs and we aren't doing that. we are deferring cost and it's a one-point fill in the blank factor later on that. there describes the maintenance conundrum we have. by the way, that's in a nuclear ship yard which is one of our more stable enterprises out there we hire people longer term, long planning. it is a premier ship yard. we have lots of use for it in the future. i'm concerned about -- and i didn't mention earlier but the shore infrastructure. we have reduced dramatically the shore infrastructure. to keep forces forward. we went from 80%, if you will, of our motto which is nothing unnecessarily all excited about down to 55%. we are deferring work that is
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going to come to roost. fortunately in fiscal year '13 we are able to meet thanks to congress programming and getting that 6% requirement done to recapitalize it. in fiscal year '14, i'm very concerned. we have $1 million. we need to get to do that right. hopefully, we'll get reprogramming or a means or bill to do that. that infrastructure is very important us to. >> thank you. general welch, senator chambliss talked about some of the areas where there is money being spent a that may not be most efficient. one of the things we looked at on the readiness subcommittee is the air force's proposal to spent $260 million for two hardened hangars in guam. they cost about twice as much as those that are not hardened. i wonder if you could prioritize
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the need for that versus the other needs that you and the other members of the panel have identified with respect to readiness and training and the other challenges that we are facing. >> thanks, senator. i don't think it's a matter of comparing them in every case. in this case, the hardened facilities on guam are responsible to provide more resilient capability on guam because of an increased threat of surface-to-surface missile attack. he didn't request everything be hardened, just those key facilities you couldn't impro advise for if there was damage on an air field. that's what those facilities are based on. we are trying to support u.s.-specific demand in that effort to meet his war plan requirements. the readiness and modernization requirements are bigger than $260 million. i don't think that's the reason we can't be more ready today. every dollar will help.
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the readiness problem we face over time is significant. to fully restore our normal readiness levels would be almost $3 billion. so we are looking with sequestration at a long-range problem that is significant. it's going to take us ten plus years to get readiness back to the level we want. we'll only get there reducing the force enough to keep a smaller force ready, which means less capacity, less capability to respond globally, less options for national decision-making. >> we certainly all appreciate that. as senator chambliss ticked off a number of projects that have significant costs to them, this one also has significant cost. when you add up those $250 million projects, pretty soon we are talking real money. i do hope this is one you will continue to look very carefully at. >> yes, ma'am. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator shaheen.
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>> i want to thank all of you for your service and for your leadership during these challenging times. let me just echo what my colleague from new hampshire has just said about the portsmouth naval ship yard. where are we if as we go forward with sequester in terms of fleet size and the attack submarine fleet? i know you mentioned in your opening testimony that one less virginia class submarine would be built during the period we would like to build it. can you give as picture what the overall fleet looks like? >> well, as i mentioned, the undersea domain critically important. we need 45 to 55, our goal is 55. we would be down to 48 submarines in 2020. yeah that as a benchmark year. unfortunately due to sequestration we lost the "uss miami" which was a project
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portsmouth had. the overruns, the furloughs and need to have to go to a commercial work force instead of using federal work force was just too much. we couldn't afford that submarine and continue to do the other. >> my understanding is we aren't meeting combatant commanders' needs with requests they make for the fleet now. what is the rough in terms of where we are now? >> the combatant commanders as they look at the world distribution of submarines for intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, they need about 19 submarines any time deployed. we can support about 10 to 11 and we broker how that works. we are about 50%. that is reflective of the overall fleet request versus what we can provide today. >> thank you, admiral. general welsh, when do you expect the f-35a to achieve full operational capability? >> we hope that happens in 2021,
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senator. >> okay. thank you. general odierno, we talked about it when we met. what is your assessment of the a-10 and its closer support capability? how important is the a-10 to the army? >> thank you, senator. as i know general welsh would say a-10 is the best support air force platform we have today. in afghanistan when they put the lightning pod on it it became the most complete support system and rover capability and gun systems. it's performed incredibly well in iraq and afghanistan. our soldiers are very confident in the system as it goes forward. it's a great close air support aircraft. >> thank you. we talked about these savings issue. something i know this whole committee signed off on and i fought very hard to not get money appropriated for, but i think it highlights the issue you heard from senator chambliss
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and you heard as well from senator shaheen on some examples of we're all concerned about sequester but also making sure we use the money allocated in the best way possible for our men and women in uniform. one of them, at least to my end is the miad program where we spent $1 billion between fy-4 and 11. i just hope we are not going to continue to spend any more money on programs like that. please tell me we aren't. >> we have to make tough choices. we have to spend money on programs that are best for us. i would make one comment and i'll make a general comment. you have to remember that as you look at cost per vehicle, things like that, the reason some are going up because we are purchasing less of them because we have less money and less force structure. that drives the cost up on some programs. we are looking very carefully.
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it's only the programs we need that we are going to invest in. we are not investing in programs we do need so it's important we don't use money for programs that aren't going to directly impact our soldiers. >> i want to ask about a topic particularly general odierno, afghanistan. how do you assess the situation in afghanistan right now? i'm worried that so many of our colleagues, frankly, aren't focusing on the fact we still have men and women serving in afghanistan. what is it we need to do to secure our interests in afghanistan? can you tell us where are we on this decision on what the follow-on force structure will be? with that decision, can we get to a point wherever whatever that follow-on is is too small to make sure we need to achieve not only the isr issues we have to address in afghanistan, but
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ensuring that our own forces are protected. general, you and i talked about that. where are we on afghanistan? >> thank you, senator. first, until we get the bsa approved, that's when we'll start discussing what the end strength is post 2014. we are certainly hopeful we will get that agreement with the afghan government that allows our soldier, sailors and marines continue to operate in afghanistan. what i would say is, the other thing i would say is, i believe we are making incredible progress in afghanistan. we don't talk about that a lot. the afghans have taken over. it's working. they have taken responsibility. we have to stay with them. it's important we stay with them and they continue to have the confidence with the multinational force behind them, both united states. that is key as we move forward. as we make decisions on residual forces, there comes a time if we get too small and our ability to protect our own forces is at risk. we have to make sure we
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communicate that to the president and joint chiefs had these discussions. we will communicate that as we move forward. >> i understand certainly the feeling that people have given the conflicts we've been involved in of wanting to withdraw. so what are our interests that are at stake in afghanistan in terms of getting the bsa right and getting the correct ratio of follow-on forces? i know my time is up. i think this is an important question. >> first off, we need the bsa to protect our soldiers. soldiers, sailors and marines operating there. that allows them to do their job and continue supporting the afghan. in afghanistan, it has come so far. it is hard to describe to someone who has never been there how far that country has come. the progress made, the security that the people feel. the fact that the afghan security forces are stepping up in a big way to support their
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own people, but they're not ready to completely do that on their own so it's important that we have to provide new kinds of support, training, advising, building their institutions, making sure they continue to move forward because there are those that want to go back and take control and there are extremist organizations that will directly threaten the united states. we have come too far and invested too much for us to back away from that now. we are close on the cusp, i think, of being successful. i think it's important that we understand that and we should draw lessons from what we are seeing in iraq to that as we move forward. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, senator ayotte. mr. donnelley. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is an honor to have you serve and lead our country. general odierno i was privileged to serve with ike skelton. he was the model of how to serve
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with dignity, humble, hard working, incredibly smart. as i know you know his reading list was also required reading for the rest of us, as well. the question i have is in this ties in admiral green to a conversation we once had. you mentioned earlier today about at one time paying benefits was 1/3, looks like it's heading to 2/3. for each of you, what is about the proper balance in terms of those kind of costs around everything else? general amos you mentioned it's at 70% now. what is the right balance for each of your forces? general odierno, if you would like to start? >> best case we want personnel costs to be somewhere between 42% and 45% of our total budget. we are past that now. we are over that at this point. >> admiral? >> i agree with general odierno. we are right now at about 50%.
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i think that's okay. that's about right. then we need to look internally and say which growing the fastest and what does it mean to our constituency? does it really affect them that much and what makes them a better sailor, soldier, airman, marine? there is that piece of balance across those entitlements. >> senator wrig, i would be thr if i was in the low 50s. >> we recognize it's different for each force. >> it is. it is a shared budget with our department and the navy. it's a function of being able to get that down. there are ways we can do that. we absolutely have got to commit ourselves as department of defense and congress to help us do that. that's going to erode my buying power to the point. saw a study, we took a brief three or four weeks ago that said if we stay on the course we're on, somewhere around 2025
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we'll have 98 cents of every dollar going for benefits. you project it out, extrapolate. >> right. >> senator, depending on what you include of your accounting, we are somewhere between 38% and 50% right now. the problem for us is that range would be fine. it's the growth we are worried about. i think we owe you and other members the incredible job you've done compensating all the great men and women who served in our military service the last 20 years. the growth in that category is the thread to modernization readiness. we need to control that growth over time. >> as a follow-up, it would be helpful to get your best ideas how to accomplish that on our end, as well, as we look forward to how we put these budgets together for the future to hit that proper and right mix.
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does flexibility help all of you and how significant would that be? >> senator, depends how you define flexibility. if you're saying flexibility within each budget year it help as little bit. in my mind it helps around the fringes. probably different for every service. what we need is flexibility across the whole sequester action. as general welch mentioned earlier, that's helpful because the front-loaded nature of it throws us off skew how we sustain our balance. if you gave us year to year flexible, there are some things we can do. that's only around the edges and doesn't solve the problem. >> this will be to all of you in particular. i was in afghanistan late april/early may, hillm manhelma
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province, as well. we had metrics saying if we could keep on these metrics by december '14, we'll be in a position to basically turn everything over to the afghans with some presence of residual forces. there was some controversy -- not controversy, but disagreement by some there, are we able to hit these metrics and say on target? i was wondering if you could fill us in on where we are? >> we are ahead of those metrics. we turned over responsibility to the afghans and really over 90% of all afghans. there are only a very few places where they have not taken complete control of their own security. in my mind, they are ahead of the metrics we originally established back in that time frame. they continue to move forward and do better than we expected. faster than we expected. >> we are exactly the same position.
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we transitioned about a year ago to training advise and assist missions instead of offensive combat operations. we changed the training of marines going in there. we put more senior leaders on the ground so they could partner with the afghan battalions. we built that structure and put a one-start general in charge specifically to focus on that. we cut that force back by 50%. not because we are trying to cut the force structure but it's been met with such great success. by december 2014 will it be phenomenal? no. it will be -- i'm confident we will have set the conditions with the greatest opportunity for the afghan people to take charge of their lives. i feel good about it. >> thank you. i see my time is up, mr. chairman.
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>> senator vitter. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thanks to all our witnesses, particularly for all of your service to our country. we all appreciate that. i understand you all have clearly articulated real problems and readiness, number one, and number two, that lack of readiness costs lives. lives are directly at stake. that concerns us all. i think the last time this possibility of a real hollow force and significant lack of readiness happened was in the 1990s. general odierno, would you consider that challenge then -- excuse me, let me rephrase it. would you consider our challenge today greater or lesser than that challenge? >> i believe our challenge is much greater today than it has
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been since i've been in the army in terms of readiness. this is the lowest readiness levels since i've been serving the last 37 years. >> general, i agree. i think the numbers confirm that. for instance, in the 1990s, this general episode i'm describing at that problem, the military described 80% of conventional and unconventional forces as acceptable with, quote, pockets of deficiency. today in contrast, at least on the army side, you have said only 15% of army forces are acceptable, with 85% being below that, is that correct? >> that is correct, senator. >> today's situation is much worse. in the 1990s there was a response to that. the administration, president clinton's administration made a specific proposal and worked
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with everyone, including republicans in congress to get $25 billion allocated for readiness. will there be a specific administration proposal any time soon to this far greater challenge? >> i can't answer your question, senator. what i would say is it has to do as the chairman said earlier, the negotiations going on for the bunt deal. out of that we hope there will be something that comes back to the department of defense that allows us to deal with this three to four-year window we have of readiness challenges we have and get rid of this sequestration as everyone said here numerous times a horrible way to do business. >> i'm familiar with those negotiations. i don't think anything is being discussed currently that
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approaches a specific concrete response to this particular problem. i would urge, i know you all aren't the ultimate decision makers, but i would urge the administration to put forward a specific proposal as president clinton did in the 1990s in a situation that i believe you're correct in saying was far less challenging, although it was serious. general, i also want to ask about some readiness issues regarding joint readiness training and the like. i have a particular interest in that because some of that happens at ft. polk in louisiana. sequestration forced the cancellation of several combat training center rotations. can you describe how important those rotations are and the impact on that readiness? >> in fy-13, we had to cancel
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seven rotations. what that means is usually it's a force of about 5,000 to 8,000 men and women who go there who get a chance to train and really get certified in the kind of operations we think they might have to deploy and weren't able to do that. not only that, you lose a significant amount of experience that are gained by leaders. for example, that equates to about 250 company commanders, about 50 battalion commanders and seven or eight commanders that did not get the training necessary for them to do the operations. that also includes their soldiers. if that keeps happening, it continually degrades the readiness. in '14 we have to focus all of our dollars to seven brigade elements. at least i can get seven brigades trained. that's the only money i have to do that. everyone else is going to go untrained. they will not be able to do the training necessary.
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>> if that is accomplished for seven brigades only and no more, how would you describe the impact on critical core competencies and readiness? >> we'll have about a little over 20% of the force, maybe 25% of the force that is trained in its core competency and the rest will not be trained in core competencies. >> general, i want to underscore the specific training we are talking about is the training that's most relevant to the sort of operations we face today, is that correct? >> that is correct. if we had to deploy in the middle east, if we had to deploy to korea or anywhere, that is the training they are not receiving. what keeps me up at night is if something happens and we are required to send soldiers, they may not be prepared the way the american people expect us to have them prepared. >> a final question for any or all of you.
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has the standards in terms of what we are preparing for, in fact, been lowered over the last few years? the requirements,ed readiness requirements? >> let me -- i don't know if i would say lowering. let's take afghanistan, for example. the units are getting ready to go to afghanistan are training differently today. as general amos mentioned, they are being trained to do training and advisory missions. they are not training to do full spectrum operations, which we would normally train them to do because they are just going to do them. they have not been trained in the things we think are important as we develop the readiness levels in order to respond to contingencies. >> i guess what i'm asking, let me try to be clear. overall in 2010 and the qdr, the requirement was to fight two wars on multiple fronts and win while engaged in significant
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counterterrorism operations. hasn't that bar been lowered significantly? >> it has. >> as that bar has been lowered significantly, do you think the world has become a safer place? >> no. as i stated earlier, i believe this is the most uncertain i've ever seen the international security environment. >> thank you. that's all i have. >> thank you, senator vitters. senator geraldo. >> thank you all for your service and acknowledging the contributions and service of congressman ike skelton whom i had the privilege of serving in the u.s. house. you testified with quite a lot of specificity about the negative impacts of sequestration. i look at the defense strategic guidance and i think each of you acknowledged that this is an articulation of future threats, challenges and opportunities. we face enough challenges, i.e.
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cost overruns of the cost of energy to the department of defense, increasing personnel costs with that, and meeting the goals of dsd without the mindlessness of sequestration. so there are some who say that we should just give you more flexib flexible, but in my view giving you flexibility which takes sequestration as a starting point is like moving the deck chairs on the "titanic." would you agree with that? >> flexibility is not the ideal solution. it's getting rid of the mechanism of sequestration. >> yes. we need to replace. >> flexibility is a help if we can't do that. >> so would you all agree what we need to do is replace sequestration with a more rational approach to what you all need to do? >> absolutely. >> all of you agree with that?
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>> yes, ma'am. >> there were some questions relating to the unsustainability of the percentage personnel costs with a regard to all your budgets. you must have done some thinking on what factors would you apply and making recommendations to changes to your personnel costs. what would be your philosophical prospective going forward making your recommendations? >> senator, i'll take a crack at it. for example, if we were to slow pay raises or something to that regard, something when done look at the impact on the constituency and can that be reversed because we have to maintain the all-volunteer force. that's very important. two, it has to be transparent. our folks, we have to speak to them and make sure they
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understand why, what, how and what is the purpose and where this all fits in and their families so they see that. three, i believe there has to be a balance. i alluded to this before. pay housing, tricare, tuition assistance to get a degree is the quality of their life, but also when they go to work, what is that quality? do they feel appreciated in that job? do they have what they need? tools, personnel, oversight, leadership and the train something they are proud of what they do? we need to balance those as we look at it. >> senator, within i think from my perspective a couple of categories. internal controls on things like bonuses and everything from reenlistment and things we do to recruit and assess marines. we have gone back into that in the last 12 months and culled
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out significant savings. internally, those are the mechanisms that we are balancing with regards to retention and recruitment, but to admiral greenert's point, this holistic package of kind of the force. i've got a piece we are writing on be careful we don't break the all-volunteer force. whatever we do, there is plenty of room to maneuver before you get there. i'm not advocating there is not. we need to be mindful we had this all-volunteer force. we asked a lot of it. they've done remarkably well. it's probably a model for every nation around the world. inside of that, there is room to maneuver on health care costs. we talked about tri-care benefits, not benefits, premiums. there is room to maneuver perhaps on pay raises. there is room to maneuver on basic allowance for housing. how much is right now it's
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typically on a 2% to 3% rise every year. do we need to do that while we are in this? there are things like that we are working on. >> my time is almost up. i take it that all of you would make these recommendations with a view that we are really mindful of the need to support our troops and to support their families so that we are not going to take away kinds of benefits, programs that they rely upon, as you move forward to decrease these personnel costs? sxwrshgs senator, that is exactly right. we have to take into consideration what it takes to maintain the all-volunteer army. that is forefront in our minds. if you get out of balance, the best way to take care of a soldier and his families, make sure he is properly trained and when he goes some where he comes back to his family.
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we've got to balance that part of it to make sure they can live the quality of life some the service they are giving to our nation. we understand that. it's finding that right balance. we think we have methods to do that, senator. >> mr. chairman, my time is almost up. i do have some questions i will be submitting to do with how sequester is impacting the research and development efforts across all of our services. and making sure we maintain an industrial base as one of you, i think it was admiral greenert who mentioned that it is really important to maintain our defense industrial base and the impact of sequester on that goal. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator hirono. senator lee. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thanks to all of you for service to our country. on behalf of the constituents i have back in utah, i express my deepest gratitude to you and those who serve under your command.
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for the last two years, we heard a lot from a lot of high-ranking military officers like yourselves who have come before this committee and others in front of the men and women that they command, in front of the american people to express the grave concerns they have about sequestration and what it could do to our military, our military readiness and everything we do through our military. i heard members of congress on both sides of the aisle and on both ends of the capitol express grave concerns about the impacts of sequestration, about what could happen. i've heard my own constituents, people from throughout utah, many whom are currently serving or have served in the military express similar concerns. it's an interesting conversation. it's sad we have to be having this conversation since sequestration was something put into law at a time when nobody believed it would ever happen. it was supposed to be so bad that we would do anything and everything possible in order to
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avoid it, yet it has arrived. my first question, which i'll leave open to any of you who might want to answer it, i'd like to know a little about the means by which the format by which the regularity with which you talk about the source of concerns we are having today about sequestration's impact on readiness and on the department of defense generally. how and in what way do you communicate those concerns to the white house? >> i would say that first off, as joint chiefs we meet twice a week to discuss many key issues, to include policy issues of health of force issues, and we clearly have discussions and then the chairman, as the chairman takes those to the white house. we also have periodic meetings with the white house. in fact, we have one next week
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where we'll have the opportunity to go over and discuss many of these issues with the president. i think he's been very open in meeting with the joint chiefs on these types of things. there are forms in place to do that. we also obviously meet on a regular basis with the secretary of defense where we have the opportunity to talk about the issues we have. he also takes those forward. i think there are avenues there that are clearly open to us that we use on a quite regular basis. >> if i understand you, you do meet regularly with the white house and you are able to communicate these openly, effectively to people in the white house at the highest levels including the president and secretary of defense? okay. that is good to hear. my concern and one of the things that animates that question is that i have not sensed quite the same level of alarm coming from the white house as i have sensed when i met with each of you. i have not sensed that same
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level of concern. we've seen a lot of action, a lot of energy from the white house going into efforts involving everything from gun control to defending owe bam aye care to fixing the website and so forth. i have not heard the same level of concern, the level of alarm i'm hearing from you. that does cause me some concern. it seems to me if the administration did, in fact, think this situation was this dire, as dire as you're explaining it to us, i would expect to see that issue, those set of issues receive a lot more time and attention and energy from our commander in chief. going along with that, instructions on preparing for sequestration in 2013 were not even initiated until just a few months before it went into effect. the president didn't consider the possibility of sequestration
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in his 2014 budget request, despite the fact that it is law, despite the fact that that law has not been repealed, has not been modified in a way that makes it irrelevant or less irrelevant. so can you, any of you describe for the committee what instructions, if any, you are receiving from the white house and from omb with regard to how to deal with sequestration in 2014 and the budget for fiscal year 2015? we've been directed and are in the process as we described before to put together a budget that we call it the alternate palm. today we are deliberating on that program budget review in the department. there is a secondary level that
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is under consideration at a higher level we will deliberate over so that there is an option available, but we are focusing on in the department right now the alternative. that is the budget control act capital levels, if you will. there are two, there are two options. >> okay. thank you, admiral for that. when you say so there is an option available, you mean so we have options on the table, options -- >> there are options. what option will be chosen and under what circumstances, i really couldn't tell you, senator. but if you wanted to know what are we directed to do and that is what we are doing. again, those two levels. >> okay. presumably those options will be considered by the president and the secretary of defense and at some point a decision will be made? >> presumably, yes, sir. >> thank you, admiral. i see my time expired. thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> thank you, senator lee. senator king. >> thank you, mr. chairman. there is a lot of discussion about flexibility. it seems a way to think about it is we are telling you you have to cut a finger off and you get to decide which one. that's an unattractive form of having to make decisions. i want to talk about morale and the effect of this. senator levin and i were in the middle east this summer. the biggest impression i came back with was extremely favorable impression of the young people we have working for the united states government in the military, the intelligence community and state department. these are idealistic, hard-working, dedicated people who we are frankly not treating very well. they've been through furloughs, they've been through a shutdown. they got the sequester. they don't know what the future of their benefit programs are. is this starting to play itself
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out in terms of retention and recruitment and morale in the services, general odierno? >> senator, thank you for the question. there are two pieces, civilian work force and military work force. civilian work force, we are seeing, not significant morale issue, but questions because they've been through a furlough. they went through shutdown. i think they are questioning the -- and a reduction along with that. so they are questioning how stable is your work environment, especially since it's still on the table. in terms of the soldiers, the way i explained it, morale is good but tenuous. reenlistments are fine, recruiting okay. there's a loot of angst. the angst is what you just said. people talking about benefits, people talking about obviously in the army we are significantly reducing the size of the force.
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they are worried about their future. what makes me feel so damn good is what you described. that their morale is high, they are doing exactly what we are asking them to do, training as hard as they can with the money we give them, trying to accomplish the mission to the best of their ability. that is so frustrating to me because of their personal dedication to our nation and to our army, yet they have a lot of angst, individually and with their families because of all this discussion going on. the fact they might lose their job, might lose benefits. what is inspiring, they continue to do what we ask them and do it to the best of their ability. that's the best way to describe it, senator. >> i think our civilians, i don't have metrics for this yet because it's too soon to tell, but when i talk to our civilian marines as i mentioned in my opening statement, our civilian marines are looking at this
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going, i'm not sure, i love the institution, i love being a civilian marine, i like what it stands for, i just don't have confidence in it. they are looking at this, not only what they've just gone through, but looking at the fact that sequester, they know, is going to require a cut in civilian personnel over the next ten years. it will require a cut in civilian personnel, no question about it. you look at all the things they've gone through. they are going, maybe i ought to look around. i don't see people jumping ship, but i do worry about them because they are the professionals. that's the civilian side of the house. they are the shock absorber for us and the corporate memory. inside my force, we are a young, marine corps is a young marine corps. 67% of all marines than on active duty are on their first enlistment. they are between 18 years old and 22. they didn't come in to sit back at home stations and be a garrison marine.
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they like the point. when you visit them in afghanistan and western pacific, you don't get questions like, what is sequester going to do to me? they know how to spell it, but that's about it. they want to know, commandant, is this the last deployment or am i going to be able to go to combat again or go to west back again? so our morale is high right now and going to stay high as long as we give them something to look forward to. the orientation to the pacific reenergized marines. afghanistan, we are coming out of there in 2014. what's left? we talk about darwin, australia, japan, guam. their eyes light up. morale in my service is high.
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>> an annedote. you are not going to have a reduction in force, we'll do it with attrition. we have a lot of people retiring. that struck me because that's a lot of seniority and talent and experience going out the top and we don't have a lot going in the bottom. we'll be out of balance. i spoke about that in my oral statement. general welsh mentioned kids getting bored. so in the navy we are starting to develop a situation where when you get ready to deploy, you're going to be ready. boy, you're going to do it fast and do it hard. our pilots, a lot of our air wingers, carrier strikers are flying a lot and training a lot for about seven months. they barely have time to get their will done, get their power of attorney done and they are deployed and gone six, seven months and they come back and longingly look out the window at their hornet aircraft saying i
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wish i could fly again. that have and have not when that gets into service records, you are going to get a have and have not feeling about it. i worry about that in morale and eventually retention. >> i want to -- i would commend to all of you gentlemen an extraordinary speech by robert gates given in the last couple of weeks. he put what you've been saying all morning, but put it bluntly and suck -- succinctly that the greatest air of threat is capitol hill and the white house, that we are the problem. it was very stark. that it's point you've been making today. what we are talking about here isn't academic, not dollars on a balance sheet. it's lives, readiness and the ability to defend this nation. thank you, gentlemen. >> thank you, senator king.
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senator fisher. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would add my thanks to you four gentlemen for your service for this country and my thanks to the men and women who serve under you for their commitment to keeping us all safe. i would like to go on a different track here a little bit. at the end of july, secretary hagel released a statement on the strategic choices management review. in that, it's basically how the department is going to cope with the sequestration over the next ten years. general odierno, in your testimony before the house armed services committee you stated that the skimmer was based on assumptions which you described as rosy and some what dangerous. specifically, you pointed out it assumes conflicts will last just six months, little to no casualties will be sustained, no
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follow-up stability, operations will be necessary. u.s. forces deployed elsewhere will be able to complete, disengage and redeployed to support a major regional contingency and the use of weapons of mass destruction wasn't even considered. can you elaborate on those assumptions and the danger you refer to about building force structure based on those assumptions? >> so if you reduce the requirement, you reduce the amount of forces necessary. so what happens is, we do not have the ability to replace our soldiers that have to accomplish this. you don't have enough. it's about quantity. the war in korea would last less than a year. there is nothing that makes me feel that is a good assumption. that we won't have any casualties during a war somewhere around the world. the fact that we do full disengagement.
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we just fought two wars, iraq and iran. we did not disengage in other places around the world. it's just not assumptions i believe are appropriate. what i worry about is in the end, the weight of those assumptions are not going to be on me, it's going to be on our soldiers, our young men and women asked to do a mission they do not have the capability and quantity of capability to accomplish. it results in more casualties and it results, which is the most, in my mind, critical thing. it also makes rosy assumptions about our ability to quickly build a larger force. in the 2000s, first it took us four years to make a decision to say we can grow the army. then once we did that, it took about 32 months to do it because you've got to recruit them and then i've got to train them. you can't do that within a six or eight month period. it's impossible to do. we made assumptions we would magically build this huge army
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in a short period of time. it doesn't happen that way unless we go to national mobilization, go back to a draft, many other things. even then it would take longer than six months to a year, two years plus to build an army. assumptions like that are incredibly risky as we go forward. >> do you think this review is helpful in my what to help planning within your different departments and the department as a whole? >> it is. there are some things that are good about it. some things about efficiencies are good. a lot of people mentioned there are clearly efficiencies we have to garner out of our own budgets and we have to do that. some of that is very good. i do significantly worry about these assumptions we make about our war-fighting capabilities which are rosy and somewhat dangerous. >> thank you. admiral, do you have anything to add on the skimmer? >> well, i think we need to keep
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in mind it was options for a future, which was described. as general odierno said that's nice. we've never been able to predict that future. it's dangerous if you're wrong. the world i live in providing presence if we reduce force structure to a level we are not out and about, our allies are wondering about our reliability. therefore potential adversaries can get out of hand, if you will. we can pretty much have a mess. we are not deterring those by being together with our allies. that is a great deterrent effect. lastly, i would say the ability to produce ready forces, you've got to look into that closely. as general odierno said there were some assumptions made we talked about the debilitating effects here in the industrial base. that can be extraordinary we need to consider that. >> i've had some comments made
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to me that president reagan was able to build up the force fairly quickly when he became president. would you agree with that? both of you have said it's difficult to build force up quickly. has it happened in the past? do you think president reagan did? >> what he did was, he didn't increase the size. he increased the investment into the force. during the reagan buildup what we did was increase our readiness, significantly increased our modernization programs, which had an incredible impact on the capability that was developed during the time what is in the army. >> the delivery of in my world the ships and aircraft took place quite a bit after the investment, if you will. so the same thing occurs when you draw down. boom, they're gone and you say i'm going to stand it up again. i've got to make sure you've got ship builders and aircraft
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builders, as well. president reagan was fortunate in that regard he had a broad enough industrial base to respond. >> general amos and general welsh, just briefly. >> ma'am, i'm with my colleagues on president reagan. we live with his legacy through the '90s. we had the reagan buildup. when we went through the '90s, the gulf war, we used the equipment that came from the reagan buildup. we sustained that through the 25%, 28% reduction of force in the late '90s in revolutionary military affairs. it takes a long time to build a force of people. in today's market it takes a long time to develop ships, airplanes. we are seeing that right now. >> you are opinion of the structure and the skimmer, general amos. do you have an opinion on those? >> say that again, please? >> on the assumptions listed in the skimmer. did you have any thoughts you
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wanted to share on that? >> i share my colleagues' app pensions. they gave a range of what a service should look like. that is helpful because dialogu everybody kind of moving. >> thank you. >> ma'am, another assumption that was in there that is significant based on where we are today is that skimmer was underlined by an assumption that our force was fully ready and that allowed you to execute the strategy. we're clearly not there today. the other thing i would mention about the reagan buildup is for the air force specifically. we purchased about 2600 new aircraft to modernize our force. in the latest buildup of our top-line budget between 2000 and 2008, we built 260. we did not modernize. so the force still needs to be modernized in critical areas. thank you very much.
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>> thank you, senator, fischer. senator kaine. >> thank you, mr. chair and to the witnesses. i appreciate your patience with us. the effect of sequester on virginia is just so palpable in all the communities that i visit. i gave a speech on the 27th of february as a senator. i think most maiden speeches are sort of here's who i am or let me tell you about my state or let me tell you what i want to do. i don't think many maiden speeches were like mine. let's not do something stupid. i had to make my maiden speech about let's not do something stupid because it was right on the eve of the sequester kicking in. we cast a vote in the senate to turn off the sequester, and there were 53 votes for that. because of the ability to insist upon 60 votes, 53 votes wasn't enough to turn off the sequester. and i just think it's always
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very important that we say this, and you couldn't be more diplomatic than i'll be. it's because of congress. sequester is because congress hasn't done a budget. sequester is because we haven't been able to find a deal in normal order. we haven't been able to find a deal in super committees. we haven't been able to do anything other than kick the can down the road, continuing resolutions. congress could have fixed this. congress shouldn't have put it in place. congress can fix it. the one bit of good news about this is there's a budget conference finally going on right now. one of the things i would certainly ask everyone connected with the military or who loves it, whether you're active, veteran, or just a patriot, tell the budget conferees, and there's some of us around this table. angus and i are both on the budget conference. tell us to get a budget deal by the 13th of december. what you need is certainty and a path out of sequester. there's been some questions today, mr. chair, along the lines of have you explained to the president how sequester is
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hurting national security? i found those questions kind of odd. the president submits a budget every year to congress. and i imagine that you talk to the president about your needs. if congress would just pass the president's budget or pass the dod portion of the president's budget or pass something within the general time zone of the dod portion of the president's budget, would our readiness issues be much easier to deal with than they are under the sequester? >> yes, sir, they would. i mean, the budget we submitted and testified to, i for one, found was acceptable. >> so there isn't a need for a president to come and bring a special request for, you know, we're having readiness problems, here's my proposal for how we deal with readiness problems.
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all we have to do is pass a budget and get in the general, you know, time zone or area of what the president is proposing vis-a-vis the dod. while it wouldn't eliminate all the challenges we have, we wouldn't be here looking at charts like this, would we? general amos, i want to ask you a question. i looked through your written testimony quickly. you said something pretty blunt in your opening comment. i think i heard you use the word ashamed. i think it was in connection with you're sort of ashamed about the way we're treating maybe some of our civilians with respect to the furloughs. i didn't write down the precise quote. when i went back through your written testimony, i couldn't find it. could you just refresh me on exactly what you said because i want to ask you what you meant by it. >> i just handed my oral statement back, but i said i'm ashamed of the way we've treated our civilian marines. as i look back at how we went
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through the furlough and how we went through the government shutdown, i'm looking at them -- and by the way, we required them as soon as they came back to help us get this budget put in and get all the contracting done, close out all the deals at the end of the year. these are the professionals that do that, senator. it's typically not military people that have trying to get the contracts in, trying to get all the money obligated. the professionals working on our airplanes, ships, tanks, equipment. so to be honest with you, when i look at them in the eye, i'm embarrassed. i'm ashamed. because i think they are every bit as much patriots as we that wear the uniform are. and i think we treated them poorly. that's what i meant by that. >> and i appreciate you saying that because, you know, again, we really are dealing with a problem that congress created and only congress can fix. you know, peppering you with more questions about whether you're appropriately informing
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the commander in chief about these effects is an effort to kind of avoid looking in the mirror. you know, we just have to look in the mirror in this place. again, mr. chair, we do have a good opportunity right now because the budget conference that should have started in march is now underway to try to find some certainty. general dempsey was with a number of us the other day. he said the problem with sequester is it's money, it's timing, and it's flexibility. all three of those create problems. i worry about your planners. i think you've got some superb planners in all your branches and with dod, but instead of letting your planners run free to plan how to deal with an uncertain world, we're tying up their time, making them figure out how to deal with an uncertain budget situation. you don't have a budgetary number right now. you don't know when you'll have a number, and you don't know what the rules will be about the number that you will eventually get at some uncertain time.
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so we are in an uncertain world. we are making your task almost impossible. and so i feel ashamed. i feel ashamed to have you come back here again and again and again and tell us the same thing and not see any action to do anything about it. >> senator, can i comment? we're under continuing resolution. you know that. it's a forced diet. that prevents us from signing multi-year contracts. i've got $815 million worth of military construction in '14. three-quarters of it is for the president's strategy, the rebalance to the pacific. i'm not going to be able to commit that. i'm not going to be able to do those kinds of things. i was just looking through only numbers in preparation for this hearing. as a result of sequester alone and the amount of my shares, 10.2% or 3% over ten years, it's
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going to -- just in marine aviation alone, it's going to cost me $6.5 billion of inefficiency. so we talk about cost overruns and all the other things we're going to try to call the money out. $6.5 billion. that's because of multiyear contracts i either can't sign or have to cancel so i have to pay penalties now. i'm buying airplanes on an individual basis. at the end of that, that's four jsf squadrons and two osprey squad squadrons, simply because of the inefficient way we're going about business in this sequester. >> mr. chair, i hope if we have another hearing on this, i'm going to suggest something that you're all too diplomatic and reasonable to do, but if we have another hearing on sequestration, i would suggest that you bring -- you can bring whatever charts you want, but i suggest you just bring a bunch of mirrors and put them up so we can look at ourselves in our own faces as we're talking about this.
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it's the only place we're going to solve this. this isn't on you to solve. it's not on the president to solve. only congress can pass a budget. a congressional budget doesn't even go to the president for signature. it's just fully within this body. it's fully within our power to solve this. i pray that we will. >> and the public gets this, mr. chairman. the public understands this. that's why our approval rating is below al qaeda's. i mean, it's a sad state. >> two quick requests. one, did each of you support the president's budget request? >> yes. >> admiral? >> yes, sir, i did. >> yes, chairman. >> yes, sir. >> all right. secondly, would you give us, general amos, the breakdown for the record of that $6.5 billion that you made reference to? now, senator bloomen that will? >> yes, mr. chairman, i realize we're in a vote so i'm going to be very quick. >> and i'm going to turn the gavel over to you. is it safe? >> that's an awesome responsibility, but i think i'm capable of it. >> thank you, all.
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>> thank you. and we are in the middle of a vote so i'm going to be very brief. first, i understand, mr. chairman, in a glaring admission on the part of our committee, we have not yet wished general amos a happy birthday even though it's a little early. happy birthday. >> thank you, senator. >> let me ask, for the record. i don't want to take your time with this. i agree with what senator kaine has just said about the responsibility being on the part of congress. i think part of the way to deal with this crisis, and it really is a crisis, is to perhaps modify some of the contracts long term, some of the procurement process, which is not your doing. you aren't the ones who in effect burden the military services with the way we do procurement and the contracts
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which in effect penalize the united states when it fails to make certain orders or when there are cost overruns that are not your doing. so i would like the panel to look at some of the procurement decisions, such as general amos has just described, where we are in effect going to pay a lot more for weapons systems, whether it's airplanes or ships, as a consequence of sequester so that we have some examples. they don't have to be in charts, but we need to be able to convince the american people about what the impact of sequester is because right now it's a word. it's a term that has little or no meaning to 99.9% of the american people. and one of the other weapons
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systems you describe d, general amos, but admiral, i understand that the virginia payload module, which results in a $743 million design change to the virginia class submarine has been undermined by some potential cuts in the 2014 budget. i support that design change, the $743 million design program. i think it will measurably and materially and significantly add to the capability of those submarines and to remove the money for designing and researching it, i believe will be really a loss of a tremendous opportunity. would you agree? >> yes, sir, i will. and as stated before, this we're talking about the undersea do main. it's a high priority for us. as i discussed the concept of reprogramming, we'll search for that money. we're fortunate it's a long-term
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program, but obviously the impact if we continue this will be dramatic. >> i also finally want to raise again as i've done before the mi-17 helicopter issue where i understand there may be limits to what we can do to reprogram money. but i just want to state for the record, $1 billion to buy helicopters from the russian export agency that's also selling arms to syria when we don't have afghan trained personnel to maintain those helicopters will strike most americans as a tremendous waste of money. first, because we're not buying american helicopters, which we should be doing if we have to provide helicopters at all. second, because the afghans can't use them as we would hope they would.
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i understand that you may have a different position. you, meaning the united states army or the department of defense. but if we're going to buy those helicopters, we should be buying them from american manufacturers and training the afghans how to use them. >> well, i would just say, senator, that i want to make it clear we're not buying those helicopters for our forces. i want to make that very clear. >> i understand. >> secondly, that's a decision that was made in theater based on their assessment of the ability for the afghans to -- they think they could, in fact, learn and train on mi-17s, because that's what they've had in the past. that's why we're purchasing them. we're the agent to purchase those aircraft for them. that's a decision made by those closest to that issue. >> i understand we're not using -- we're not buying those helicopters for american forces. they're being bought for the afghans, but we are using american taxpayer dollars, which could be used for the virginia
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payload module or any other of the very important needs that you have and this we need to address. so i understand that those decisions have been made as a result of recommendations by commanders in the field, and i just want to state for the record my reservations about that decision. so thank you very much. thank you to each of you for your service to our nation. i think i am in charge of gaveling to a close, even though i don't have the gavel. but this hearing is adjourned. thank you very much for being
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you are on the political spectrum we all feel very fortunate and grateful that we are living in the united states of america. a very unique place. if america was considered to be a product and we tried to sell our product product overseas, ws our brand? and i think our brand is the constitution to the rule of law and value system. and under that brand and value system there is a notion of
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equal under the eyes of the law and under that brand and value system is the aba to elevate the rights of americans with disabilities. >> this is a treaty. the treaty is a law. it's an emotional and political argument. no one can disagree with these arguments. but the question is will the treaty actually have the legal effect that's being offered by their proponents of the treaty? we don't hear citations to articles in the treaty. we don't hear considerations of the report of the concluding observations like the rights of persons with disabilities. we don't have the kind of legal analyst i as that would be appropriate for analyzing the legal impact of the treaty. ..
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after hurricane katrina, badly damaged, when the host of football games again, that was a national feel-good story and rightly i would say so. the public paid for the repairs. the public has invested in today's dollars about a billion dollars in the construction of the mercedes-benz superdome and the man who owns the new orleans
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saints keeps almost all the revenue generated there. why don't people rebel against this? one reason is many people don't understand this is taking place. the second reason is they feel there's nothing they can do about it and it's all based on insider deals. the most recent time there was a vote in miami last year on whether to use public money with the miami dolphins play. they voted strongly against doing that because they got to vote on it. >> westmont house energy and subcommittee on oversight and investigations looked at the impact of epa regulations on the cool industry. tim murphy of pennsylvania chairs the hearing of colorado's diana to get serving as the ranking member. this is just over 90 minutes.
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[inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everyone about the first subcommittee hearing oversight investigation entitled epa's regulatory threat to energy come the perspective of cool communities. before we start, i would like to layout is scheduled today. if anybody tries to go over that time, we're going to stop you because at 3:00 we have a heart stopped because of the special ceremony for former speaker foley. i wondered if clark we'll have votes. we'll a quick recap that time to come back. we ask members rush back after the vote on the floor. i'll have my statement and then recognized ms. degette. a century ago my grandfather worked in a coal mine. things are different but in the minds are extremely dangerous, deaths brought to comment.
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act and factories, homes and power plants burning coal is so concerned for the firemen. street lights turned on a new and is this that would take a second weight pressure to change midday. major chains the departmental practices that cleared the skies to reduce emissions by more than 50% even as cool users tripled. you can always do better and i support a broken them investing in clean coal. that is difficult under the presidents budget, which cuts $239 clinical research the national energy laboratory. the administration reminds me one of the editors of "the new york times" opined after a failed attempt that it would be 1 million to 10 million before they could never fly. the right brothers wrote, today we begin instruction. instead, the administration wants to direct billions of subsidies that unproven renewable projects. he can't make windmills without stealing he can't make steel without coal.
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coal is the bedrock of thousands of communities across the country powering 40% of our homes and factories touches nearly every aspect of life. at first still know that is built the empire state building in the golden gate bridge and provides good jobs and paychecks to the thousands of americans. today we're going to hear from workers, local officials and others whose lives and communities depend on coal. parts of ohio, kentucky, colorado 22 whether coal producing state, schools and municipal services being cut and communities driven to poverty because they regulations on environmental protection agency restore the prosperity of these coal towns. in june 2011, lisa jackson told this committee the epa does not look at the impact on jobs and they come up with a regulations. today we will look in the eyes of those in the epa's not important to workers and families of coal. these are folks lose their jobs and unemployment. they could put on welfare.
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when they can afford their home, make it public housing. they can't feed their kids come in a food stamps. they never won a handout. all they want a job. his workers for the immediate cost of bp action this year and is about why or how the pete rose up regulation. as part of our responsibilities, we regularly take testimony that the agency's decisions and will continue to do so in the months ahead. too often the practice in washington is to listen. this practice does not capture the daily impact of washington from the distant communities for good jobs at good wages supported private life. they didn't consider the nearly 400 people depend me to put out a work last week. the coal power fired plants. this was after the planned summer spent nearly half a billion dollars making hot settlement agreement supercritical facilities in the country to throw the towel in the epa announced new unworkable
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mandates for 2016. the epa did not consider the 10 people who lost their jobs last friday or the 130 individuals that pbs coals in somerset county were laid off in may, a third round of list in less than a year. these pennsylvanians are in the 6000 miners who lost their job in 2012 working directly in the coal mining industry and doesn't affect your east. boilermakers come electricians, operating engineers, farmers and machinists a lot of work are under threat of losing their job. a witness today can speak to what the coal industry means to call relying regions kentucky or west virginia, pennsylvania and western colorado. they can speak to at the industry has meant in terms of providing a good candidate living and support the local government, schools critical to daily life. this is not an academic debate. what happens in washington is a difference between decent living in poverty. when a person grows up and probably at higher risk of chronic depression and other medical problems.
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a recent study by georgetown university says emily have other risks for obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease because of poverty and unemployment. we live from somerset coal plants close because natural gas is cheaper. not true. they close because bp refuses to work out solutions and help hold before to be cleaner than it rds. these plants close because the epa makes it impossible to comply with agency standards. today's hearing will help congress make the right decisions going forward so more people can benefit from the good and honorable living coal industry provides. with that, one early in recognized ranking member degette for an opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. power to welcome your constituents, mr. doyle's constituents and even mr. lumd is from western colorado, colorado native. forgot to have you with us today. you know, mr. chairman, i know the witnesses here have really compelling testimony and i want to thank each and everyone of you for coming.
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i don't take the concerns are going to talk about today lately. i think we need to think about the economies of all of these communities. frankly, mr. chairman, we need to talk about more than epa regulations. we also need to talk about the real reality that has natural gas becomes cheaper than coal and more and more other utilities transfer to natural gas, if the invisible hand of the free market. utilities are moving to natural gas because it makes business sense. we do need to talk about that. as we think about what's happening with the loss of jobs, we need to think about the inevitable hand of the free market and what we do about that. something else we need to think about is why the epa is the epa sneakiness regulation or you can make in this regulations because there is another real threat aside from the loss of these jobs, which is an important issue. we also have a catastrophic issue facing us.
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at issue is the issue of climate change. if you look at what happened one year ago today when hurricanes and he made landfills in the united states, over 100 people were killed. there is devastation throughout the east coast. when you look at what happened in colorado this summer in my home state, where we saw the potential impacts of climate change firsthand with 11,000 people being evacuated from their homes, 19,500 homes being damaged and over 1500 he and destroyed in these catastrophic flood. and so, when you look at climate change, you have to say, why is epa sneakiness regulation and what we can do? as we look at this whole issue, we look at number one, the need to reduce carbon pollution. we need to protect public health and the environment and we also
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need to provide assistance to communities and individuals that are hard hit, both as a shift from coal and also by climate change so that people can transition to improve technologies that will meet our energy needs. mr. chairman, i am open to any ideas that my colleagues are the witnesses have today about how we can help these communities move forward. we should do more than just have this one hearing. we should do more than hear one side of the story. we should have hearing also on climate change so we can hear from witnesses in boulder and saliva in jamestown, colorado. from new york and new jersey, who have lost their jobs. we need to have a comprehensive look at this and see what we can do. with that, i am happy to yield two minutes to mr. yarmuth, the newest member of this committee. were so delighted to have him. >> i think the ranking member. we are going to you about the perspective of coal communities. let me assure you the concerns
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of residents in the esther jacobo communities do not stop after the opening utility bill. they're interested in their health in the harm removal mining is doing to their families, friends and neighbors. two studies on communities near mountaintop removal site showed elevated risk of birth effects while adult hospitalizations for chronic pulmonary disorders and hypertension increase in these communities is coal production does. so did the rates of mortality, if one can't tear and kidney diseases. it must also consider impact on the communities downwind. one of five adults and one in 10 children suffer mass market which is exacerbated by the pollution that results from unrestricted carbon emissions. mountaintop removal is impacting residents of coal communities. it's also taken their jobs. the decline did not start two years ago. for six years ago when the president took office. he started within three decades ago with the advent of mechanized mounting. during that time the number of jobs in kentucky declined from
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approximately 47,000 in 1977 to 12,000 today. meanwhile, coal production remained steady with recent drops due to the natural gas search. in other words, the only ones who benefited from mechanized mining with the coal companies whose profits have remained far, far healthier than the local economies where they operate. you know, there's a dispute we have to address our carbon problem. we tried to do that in 2009 after this report required the government to develop limits on carbon pollution. we passed a republican idea to create emissions market networks closely with other members to ensure he would drive up utility cost costo understates economies. unfortunately, republicans blocked the legislation and because of that, we are here today. i yield back. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you know, when the work underground stops, everyone above pays the price. that observation was made by
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boone county west virginia tv reporter in september 2012 who captures the plight of america's esther jacobo communities. the past five years the nation a struggle to emerge from the great recession we witnessed an onslaught of epa rules on proposals that it significantly of the nation's energy site is. vitality is essential for putting this nation back on the path to long-term prosperity. we've conducted hearings looking at the regulatory proposals and what they add up to in terms of compliance cost and ultimately the prospects or people have access to affordable energy in the goods and services they rely on. nowhere have we seen a risk to prosperity more clearly than the accumulation of regulations based in the coal sector of and coal communities have suffered greatly. today we're going to hear important testimony will provide the perspective of the community to provide americans benefits of this abundant resource and the
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electricity it produces. the views of the local officials and workers provide a testament to the importance of esther jacobo as a source of good, meaningful work and support for the quality of life at all communities around the nation strive for. the testimony paints a picture but the real damage that occurs when plants shudder, mines cause and people lose their jobs. i've been calling attention in recent months to the urgent need for ensuring this nation can embrace its energy abundance. this requires loading the infrastructure of producing fields to provide power for homes in manufacturing. it's only possible with the regulatory structure that encourages production of our diverse and abundant natural resources, including coal. the great irony is coal is done so much to assure the reliable power for the majority of americans are multiple generations. it's been a core skill behind the great accomplishments of her
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manufacturing industry into a point underscored by the testimony today, esther jacobo has done much to let so many out of poverty in this nation. today's hearing should remind us that these accomplishments and the risk. esther jacobo should continue to provide the nation's tremendous benefits, critical and important source of energy for billions of people in the nation. our work on this committee to oversight of epa of legislative initiative will make that happen. we are a nation of opportunity and while others may want to ban the use of coal, we will fight to ensure that coal and it remains an important part of our open all the above energy plan. thank you for being here. i yield the balance of the time to the gentleman, mr. griffiths. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the opportunity for an opening statement. i represent deep southwest virginia, the coal producing region of the commonwealth.
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and i can tell you we are going to hear some great stories today and we're going to find out what's going on for people on the ground. every time i am in the area, not here in d.c., i see new mom-and-pop businesses closed down because of this warm cool. i see what is happening out there day in and day out. i pick up newspapers and read reports about different manufacturing facilities. not just the coal mines, but manufacturing facilities in the district laying people off for shutting down. it is devastating what is happening and it's not just the price of the natural gas because they fluctuate and a lot of businesses over the years have said we know the prices fluctuate, but we'll stick with coal because entremed makes sense for us. now the regulatory environment in washington, they are saying we can't do that because we know even if we comply with today's regulations, the epa and this administration right around the corner will have another set of regulations and practice.
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we are bankruptcy not only the power companies, but bankrupting the mom-and-pop businesses. we are bankruptcy and car dealerships, restaurants. we are bankrupting mom-and-pop businesses all over this country. for little gain in the environment. what we need to do this we need to make sure that the science leads us on the regulations instead of the regulations forcing people out of business because they don't have time to wait for the science to catch up with the regulation. i know that for some they are credulous when you hear things like that. all kinds of things are out there. but we can't have those sciences people experimenting with come to fruition in time to meet the epa's current regulations. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> cannot recognize the gentleman from california, mr. waxman. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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it's ironic today is the one-year anniversary of hurricanes can be. terrible tragedy. rather than pay any attention to that landmark, we talk about epa's supposed regulatory threat to coal communities. we should be talking about the cost of inaction. hurricanes can be in the mid-atlantic in north east killing hundreds and inflict in billions of dollars in damages. our taxpayers all across the country helped to pay for that. we've got wildfires raging across the west, floods decimating communities in colorado. every week you can find historical records setting climate events that are catastrophic. now, we have in the audience several people who've survived hurricane stan lee and i'm glad they are here. their stories are visitor number of the fact we should be talking about how extreme weather events
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like these are becoming more and more common because of climate change caused by our failure to reduce carbon pollution. i've written almost 30 letters to chairman upton in the republican this committee. we are to have a hearing on the science. we have to bring in the leading scientist to talk about the scientific need of good regulation. but we've had a refusal to even hold one hearing that the sciences. instead is a threat to climate change becomes more and more dire in the scientific consensus that the threat because even clearer, were having another hearing focused on the alleged war on coal. the primary threat to coal is not epa's work and school. it's cheap, natural gas being used as a substitute.
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it's more affordable passes renewable energy in its reduced calls market share for electricity generation. this is something the government did. this is something the market dictated. i know many of you are here from the coal industry. many tell you i've been in congress a long time. we try to deal with the acid rain problem. i suggested everybody in the country pay a fee to help pay for the scrubbers to stop what was going up to the northeast of canada. you know what we were told? it is no problem. when president george h.w. bush signed the law, we required the reductions being made in the cheapest possible way. what they did is they switched to low sulfur coal and destroyed the industry. in 2009, we proposed giving the coal industry billions of
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developed coal technology that would remove this problem and instead we were told there is no such problem. we've had many hearings on this issue. we need you here from everybody. i want to yell the balance of my time plus some. >> thank you. i appreciate you yielding. i agree this is an important topic and ready to explore. as a representative from pittsburgh, i know firsthand the devastating effects of the decline in the coal industry. if we want to accurately look at this issue, we need to look at the facts. not just point fingers at an easy target. for starters, i'd like to remind my colleagues that a congressional history. during the hearing, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would blame the obama administrations air pollution regulation that have gone into effect over the last five years. the only problem with that as many of these regulations were begun in the 1990s in the 2009
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under this administration. so what is this administration done to impact the future of all? well, since the beginning of the administration, department of industry has invested a explain dollars to develop develop clean coal technologies, capture utilization of storage. in fact, one of the first those during the obama administration on the stimulus package included $3.4 billion for carbon capture and sequestration. you know how many republicans voted for that? zero. later that same year, this committee worked tirelessly to put together a comprehensive energy strategy, which included multiple provisions for further development of ccs technology to take the burden away from the coal industry in the electric utility industry. that bill received eight republican votes. only one from this committee. i want to remind my colleagues that while they're throwing the obama epa under the bus, this administration has been its multiple opportunities to
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support the coal industry beatitudes up the political drama and start working together to retain this industry in our country. >> thank you. i'd like to introduce the witnesses for today's hearing. our first witness is the judge executive from bell county, kentucky and southeastern corner of the state. he's been the executive since 2007. our second witness is raymond petrone, the business manager for boilermakers 154 cents 1996. local 131 pennsylvania, west virginia. daniel weiss, director of climate study in the center for american progress in washington d.c. where he was the clean energy and climate campaign. fourth is robert horton, minor by trade from a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping maintain the vitality and productivity of the coal industry in western virginia. next we have olen lund, former county commissioner for delta
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county, colorado and western colorado. his responsibilities include the appropriations and budget for the tulsa county. our six witnesses mayor john fetterman, mayor of a town 10 miles north of pittsburgh and advocate for revitalizing a creative youth-oriented programs pursues greene elbow development. or final witnesses john pippy can chief executive officer of the cool ones which represents a 250 member companies and 41,005 and workers in the coal industry. he served 16 years as the general assembly and the pennsylvania state senate and is in iraq were better in a graduate of west point. i now swear the witnesses. you are aware the committee is holding an investigative hearing. taking testimony under oath. too many of the testifying underwrote? c. no one objected that, but the share price under the rules of the house and committee come you're entitled to be advised by
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pete is anyone desire to be revised by count l. with your testimony today? no one has been asked to be advised. would you authorize them is your right hand and else do you say the testimony you're about to give us the truth come whole truth and nothing but the truth? all witnesses had answered affirmatively. you are now under oath and subject to the penalties set forth in title 18 section 1001 of the united states code. you may know which give a five-minute summary of your statement. starting with mr. brock. but your microphone on. >> chairman murphy, ranking member degette contender for having me here today. i am the bell county judge executive and i appreciate this opportunity to provide testimony regarding the devastating impact epa regulations are having on families and our economy in eastern kentucky i proudly call
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home. my position has placed me on the front lines and in the trenches of a battle between the rapidly growing needs in my county as unemployment explodes, coupled with tracking budgets and revenue decreases. the duties of a county judge are similar to that of the mayor. either fiscal responsibility for operating all things related to county government. the sheriff's office, jail, animal control, a military services to name a few. today i'm not your testifying as a bystander. but an expert witness, a colleague, reporting conditions in the field where i live to any judge. but the purpose of perspective. i want each of you to understand eastern kentucky's economy is more dependent upon coal in detroit is upon the otto industry. in eastern kentucky, we have lost 7000 coal mining jobs in
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the last two years. economists estimate when coal mining jobs supports three and have other jobs in our economy. that means beyond the 7000 coal mining jobs are at a loss, an additional 24,500 jobs in our region will be effective. that means 94,500 people in eastern kentucky has been directly impacted by coal industry job loss. the average wage of the 7000 law school jobs is just over 78,000 per year. when you multiply that waged by the 7000 jobs lost, then multiply the other 24,500 lost by a conservative figure of 20,000, over $1 billion worth of earned wages will be remote from rates in the economy.
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that deserves repeating. $1 billion a year. many eastern kentucky and i leaving their homes and communities and families to work in other parts of the country. what does the future of our region called for those of us that remain here at already we see dramatic increase in childhood homelessness. i families lose their homes in some schools this fall, nearly 50% of the children have at least one unemployed parent as a result of code layouts. these are not young people fresh out of high school about to debate their career path. everyday my job i am approached a proud, mature men and women with young families. workers to feel the effects of the time until my body and have retirement within their site. they approach me almost daily. they both have made choices about their careers.
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work hard, make sacrifices. and that regardless of what some of you may think, because of recent decisions made by the epa, they face hardship and certainty. i have personally witnessed and telling their life positions and yard sales. the credit is damaged beyond repair of air force to send their kids to school for dependent and free lunch, food stamps and other government programs in an attempt to get through another week. these are men and women who do you think american promise. they believe they work hard they can do well enough to raise a family, own a home and send their kids to college and put a little away for retirement. keeping that promise alive is why president obama named the defining issue of our time. i agree with them. don't we all? can't we find a way to undo what's been done?
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what is the future of eastern kentucky's appalachia not counting representatives in our region? in 1960, just before the war on poverty was declared from 76.5% of citizens lived in poverty. by 2011, only 24.5% were living in poverty. now the colts work has been reduced to half of what it was in 2011 and is on the rise again. i cannot imagine they calculated the impact of their decisions this negatively impacted the coal industry in eastern kentucky, but thousands of families and children at risk, threaten decades of progress. but if they did, they callously disregarded that calculation and violated the most basic moral imperative of our government, which is


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